MARYSVILLE – A Union County juvenile detention facility received funding this month for security and safety upgrades.
The Central Ohio Youth Center, Marysville, received $25,000 for security and safety upgrades as part of the Ohio Department of Youth Services’ Detention Alternatives and Enhancements Initiative.
The initiative, announced earlier this month, is expected to provide $1,628,804 in funding to assist 23 counties through implementation grants to help fund physical plant enhancements as well as expand alternatives to secure detention, services and supports provided within the facilities.
Central Ohio Youth Superintendent Natalie Landon said the center is a 38-bed district juvenile detention and treatment facility that houses youths from Champaign, Madison, Union and Delaware counties. Landon noted the center also has a community residential center for adjudicated juvenile offenders for youth from across the state.
Landon said the funding awarded to the center will be used to add additional security cameras and to update the security system.
“It’s really imperative to what we do because that’s our main focus, to not only keep the kids safe while they’re here, but to also protect staff as well,” Landon said. “With these additional cameras it will eliminate the majority of our blind spots that we have in the facility and really opens up the line of vision for staff which will benefit the facility and benefit the youth.”
While the proposal for funding was submitted by the center, juvenile court judges from the center’s member counties wrote letters of support.
Champaign County Judge Lori Reisinger said the security improvements will benefit the individuals the family court sends to the detention center.
“It allows them to take their observation up a level that otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to do,” Reisinger said of the improvements. “It’s very, very expensive to run a juvenile facility and the individual counties already have quite a burden on them for that, so to get this money from the state was a huge benefit.”
“We’re all working together to do what’s best for the youth in the community because eventually these young people are going back out into the community,” Landon said about the support from local courts. “Having that collaboration with the court and the placing agencies really benefits everybody that’s involved.”
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.